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Duke men's basketball 2021-22 player preview: Bates Jones

Jones brings more interior depth and experience to a deep Blue Devils roster.
Jones brings more interior depth and experience to a deep Blue Devils roster.

As November nears, it is becoming apparent that basketball season is on the horizon. That means that it is time for our player previews of every member of Duke men's basketball. Next up is graduate transfer Bates Jones. Read the previous previews here: Stanley Borden, Spencer Hubbard, Keenan Worthington and Michael Savarino. 

Bates Jones

Year: Graduate student

Height: 6-foot-8

Position: Forward

Last year’s stat line: 2.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 12.7 MPG

Game breakdown: Bates, brother of former Duke quarterback Daniel and Duke women's soccer goalie Ruthie Jones, enters this year as a graduate transfer from Davidson and another key piece of depth for a talented Blue Devil roster. He entered 96 games across his four years as a Wildcat, averaging 10 minutes per game, and played 22 times last season including two starts.

Jones was a reliable rotation player during his time at Davidson, chipping in with points and rebounds when it mattered. Last year, he posted seven points against Texas, 12 rebounds against Rhode Island and 15 points against D-III Southern Virginia to mark his senior season highlights. At 6-foot-8 and 222 pounds, Jones is relatively tall and can outmuscle opponents which should make him a reliable put-back and rebound source for the Blue Devils. Though not a star name, he can provide useful physicality to Duke’s offense and defense.

Role on the team: Jones’ game-minutes will likely be limited this season given the Blue Devils’ depth. He will be competing with the likes of Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin and Wendell Moore Jr., for game time in the forward position and will thus be relied on primarily as a rotation and utility player who can come in to close out comfortable games. As a fifth-year player, much like Theo John, his leadership and experience will be important to Duke’s campaign this year, as steady heads and stable hands will be necessary complements to the passionate dynamism of freshmen Banchero, Griffin and Trevor Keels.

He will not feature much this year since Duke is stacked with forwards, but his leadership, experience and energy from the bench will be incredibly important. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski does not let just anyone join his program, so even if his in-game minutes are limited, his role will be clearly defined and he will know exactly what he needs to do for the program.

NBA comparison: A good NBA comparison would be the Boston Celtics’ Jabari Parker. Though Jones will not put up the numbers Parker did during his time at Duke, the role the two play is very similar. Parker currently plays an off-the-bench physical role with an emphasis on rebounds and close points using his height, length and size to push past defenders. Neither are certified first-teamers but have experience, leadership and passion that translates to on and off-court success.

Projected stats: 0.8 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 3.0 MPG

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